According to the results of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Russia during the 30th session of the UN Human Rights Council, 126 delegations addressed a total of 317 recommendations to the Russian authorities. None of these recommendations were immediately accepted: at the closing session, the representative of the Russian Federation stated that decisions on the acceptability of recommendations would be known by the 39th session of the UN Human Rights Council in September 2018.
More than ten countries expressed their concern about the situation of LGBTI people in Russia who are discriminated against because of the existing homophobic legislation, as well as victims of life- and health-threatening persecution in Chechnya. They called on the Russian authorities to effectively investigate the crimes committed, which included murders, violence and disappearance of persons. However, the Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation during the meeting reported that there was no evidence of repression on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). ADC “Memorial” has repeatedly drawn attention to the violence and torture of the members of LGBTI community in Chechnya, including issuing a joint report together with the Russian LGBT network.
The problems of discrimination of other vulnerable groups, which had been raised in this report, were also reflected in the recommendations to Russia that were made during the session. These included the need for comprehensive and internationally consistent anti-discrimination legislation, adoption of measures to protect Roma and indigenous peoples from discrimination.
Among the measures aimed at achieving equality between women and men, Russia was recommended not only to adopt the law on domestic violence, but also to create equal opportunities in employment, in particular, to abolish the list of professions prohibited for women, which had been recognized as discriminatory by the United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (UN CEDAW) and had been repeatedly criticized by ADC “Memorial”.
Several countries, which have recognized the numerous difficulties facing stateless persons, that had been described in detail in the joint report issued by ADC “Memorial”, the Institute for Statelessness and Inclusion (ISI) and the European Network on Statelessness (ENS), have stressed the need for Russia to ratify the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness and to adopt urgent measures in order to end discrimination against these people.
Many states have also noted that implementation and protection of human rights in Russia currently meets with various forms of stiffening, including obstruction of the activities of human rights NGOs and independent media, repression against civil society and human rights activists. They called on Russia to stop pressure on the civil society and to end the use of administrative and criminal persecution as a means of repression against opponents of the government.